President Lenín Moreno made little secret of his desire to evict Assange from embassy building

Ecuador’s decision to allow police to arrest Julian Assange inside its embassy on Thursday follows a fraught and acrimonious period in which relations between the government in Quito and the WikiLeaks founder became increasingly hostile – and eventually broke down.

The country’s president, Lenín Moreno, had made little secret of his desire to evict Assange from the embassy building in Knightsbridge, west London, where he had lived since June 2012. Moreno has variously described Assange as a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe”.

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